Cardinals
Rams
34 - 13 Final
  for this game

Big second quarter spurs Cardinals to rout of Rams

Nov 3, 2008 - 1:21 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- The Arizona Cardinals scored 24 straight points in the second quarter and Kurt Warner finished with 342 yards passing en route to a 34-13 triumph over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Rookie Tim Hightower rushed for 109 yards and a TD in his first career start and Anquan Boldin hauled in six passes for 85 yards and a score for the Cardinals (5-3), who rebounded from a 27-23 setback at Carolina last week in which they squandered a two-touchdown advantage.

There would be no letdown this week against the Rams, as Arizona grabbed the edge early in the second quarter and never looked back. Cornerback Antrel Rolle got the Cardinals started when he ran into Marc Bulger's floater over the middle and returned it 40 yards to knot the score at 7-7.

"That's why it has to work both ways. If the offense doesn't get it going from the start, then on defense we can score, too," Rolle said after he recorded his fourth touchdown of his career.

"That's something we know and something we emphasized a lot this week, just trying to get the ball, trying to get turnovers."

The Cardinals converted another turnover into points when Adrian Wilson forced a fumble by sacking Bulger. Bertrand Berry recovered the loose ball, and Neil Rackers converted a 36-yard field goal four plays later to put Arizona on top for good.

Hightower added a 30-yard TD run and Warner found Jerheme Urban for a 56-yard score to send the Cardinals into the half up, 24-7.

For Hightower, who in essence ended of a streak of 135 starts of Edgerrin James, team and individual success merged together was significant.

"It feels a lot better when you rush for 100 yards and you win. If we were sitting here with a loss, I don't think I'd be feeling too good," said Hightower, who was a fifth-round selection in last April's draft.

"It's a division game, a very important game for where we stand, and it felt good to come out in the first game and have this opportunity."

Urban scored when he grabbed a ball that it appeared should have been intercepted by Rams cornerback Jonathan Wade.

"Whatever it was, I just came back for it as soon as it popped up," Urban said. "I just tried to grab it. When I saw it pop into the air, I said, 'Hey, let's grab it and go.'"

Warner and Boldin made for a memorable drive in the third quarter, starting with a botched snap. Warner, standing in the shotgun, was not even looking when the snap came, hitting him off the arm and bouncing backwards.

But the veteran recovered, grabbed the ball, spun out of the converging Rams' pass rush, and tossed it into the left flat to Boldin, who made a one-handed catch and scooted for a 19-yard gain. Seven plays later, Warner found Boldin in the end zone to make it 31-7.

"He's playing lights out. He's doing a great job," Boldin said of Warner. "He's one of the smartest quarterbacks I've ever been around. He puts it in the right place the majority of the time and he's playing great right now."

The TD strike gave Warner his seventh straight game with at least two touchdown passes - one shy of his own franchise record.

"Our philosophy is that we have to do what we are best at and that is spreading people out and making (the opposing team) dictate what we do with it," Warner said. "If they want to play one on one with our receivers, then we don't have any problem throwing it.

"The coaches have a lot of confidence in the way I am throwing it now, that I am protecting the football and doing the smart thing with the football and making good decisions. So we are going to let teams really dictate what they want us to do in situations. If they want to drop an extra guy down to stop us from running it, we have no problem. We feel good about our passing game and what we can do in those sets."

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt echoed his support for Warner, who beat out Matt Leinart for the starting job in training camp.

"Kurt does a very good job," Whisenhunt said. "(Offensive coordinator) Todd Haley did a great job today with our packages and calling the plays. Kurt, as he has done the last couple of weeks, has checked out of some things and got us some good plays. Kurt is very efficient, he does a great job with the offense, and he is playing at a very high level."

Bulger finished with 186 yards on 16-of-33 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions for St. Louis, which allowed 510 total yards.

"They kicked our butts. We had an early lead and in the second quarter we kind of fell apart," Bulger said. "They are a good football team and you don't want to take anything away from them. They took advantage of our mistakes.

"It hurts. Any division game is going to hurt our team. The good thing is that we get to play them again. We are going to need some help and, like coach (Jim) Haslett said, we are going to get ready for the Jets. We have to turn this thing around."

The Rams entered the game 28th in the NFL, allowing an average of 386.3 yards per game. The Cardinals exploited the holes in St. Louis' defense, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and 9.5 yards per pass.

"We got (the Cardinals) where we wanted them and they made a big play or two and that's what the difference was," St. Louis rookie defensive end Chris Long said. "They were making plays and we weren't. You can talk about anything, but it's about play-making ability and they have that. Also, I don't think we tackled well enough."

"They score points, that's what they do, and they're very effective. I didn't think our tackling was great but the big thing was the one on one. We had a chance for an interception, we didn't get it and they score a touchdown," Haslett said in reference to Jonathan Wade's gaffe that sent Urban on his way to the end zone in the second quarter.

Their success on the ground - Arizona out-rushed St. Louis, 177-61 - allowed the Cardinals to control the ball for over 38 minutes.

Bulger's 32 yards on three rushes led the St. Louis ground attack.

Significant to the Rams' struggles was the lingering thigh injury to Steven Jackson, which limited him to 17 yards on seven carries in intermittent action.

"I hate to take an injury as an excuse," Jackson said. "I didn't play like myself. I am very down right now. I did not help my team out. I am really disappointed and it is something that I am going to use as motivation for the rest of the season."

"He worked out and said he was ready to go, and that's his nature. Obviously, he wasn't ready," Haslett said. "He had to go back in when we lost (Antonio) Pittman because we didn't have anybody else,"

Pittman netted 12 yards on 10 attempts before re-aggravating a calf injury late in the third quarter. Also, Travis Minor left the game early with a concussion.

"We had no running game whatsoever," Haslett said. "So, If you are going to throw the ball all day you are probably going to get some turnovers."

"(The game) was disappointing," Jackson added. "I think, as a team, we came out prepared but they were able to out-execute us the whole game."






  • 30
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 34, Rams 13  FinalNov 2 9:07 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ARIZONA 0 24 7 3 34
    ST LOUIS 7 0 0 6 13 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: STL - TD, DEREK STANLEY 81 YD PASS FROM MARC
    BULGER (JOSH BROWN KICK), 10:37.
    Drive: 1 plays, 80 yards in 0:11.
    ST LOUIS 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANTREL ROLLE 40 YD INTERCEPTION
    RETURN (NE

    Nov 2 4:15 PM


  • NFL
    FG ARI
    NEIL RACKERS 30 YD
    ARIZONA 34
    ST LOUIS 13 3:34 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Cardinals 34, Rams 13  4th - 3:34Nov 2 4:07 PM


  • NFL
    TD STL
    TORRY HOLT 3 YD PASS FROM MARC BULGER
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    ARIZONA 31
    ST LOUIS 13 12:17 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Cardinals 31, Rams 13  4th - 12:17Nov 2 3:50 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ARIZONA 0 24 7 31
    ST LOUIS 7 0 0 7 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: STL - TD, DEREK STANLEY 81 YD PASS FROM MARC
    BULGER (JOSH BROWN KICK), 10:37.
    Drive: 1 plays, 80 yards in 0:11.
    ST LOUIS 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANTREL ROLLE 40 YD INTERCEPTION
    RET

    Nov 2 3:35 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    ANQUAN BOLDIN 7 YD PASS FROM KURT WARNER
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ARIZONA 31
    ST LOUIS 7 3:16 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Cardinals 31, Rams 7  3rd - 3:16Nov 2 3:28 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ARIZONA 0 24 24
    ST LOUIS 7 0 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: STL - TD, DEREK STANLEY 81 YD PASS FROM MARC
    BULGER (JOSH BROWN KICK), 10:37.
    Drive: 1 plays, 80 yards in 0:11.
    ST LOUIS 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: ARI - TD, ANTREL ROLLE 40 YD INTERCEPTION
    RETURN

    Nov 2 2:42 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    JERHEME URBAN 56 YD PASS FROM KURT WARNER
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ARIZONA 24
    ST LOUIS 7 0:42 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Cardinals 24, Rams 7  2nd - 0:42Nov 2 2:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    TIMOTHY HIGHTOWER 30 YD RUN
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ARIZONA 17
    ST LOUIS 7 1:53 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Cardinals 17, Rams 7  2nd - 1:53Nov 2 2:29 PM
  • 25
    roots
    jwelsh8 Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 10, Rams 7  2nd - 4:43Nov 2 2:23 PM


  • NFL
    FG ARI
    NEIL RACKERS 36 YD
    ARIZONA 10
    ST LOUIS 7 8:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Cardinals 10, Rams 7  2nd - 8:09Nov 2 2:15 PM


  • NFL
    TD ARI
    ANTREL ROLLE 40 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (NEIL RACKERS KICK)
    ARIZONA 7
    ST LOUIS 7 12:10 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Cardinals 7, Rams 7  2nd - 12:10Nov 2 2:03 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ARIZONA 0 0
    ST LOUIS 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: STL - TD, DEREK STANLEY 81 YD PASS FROM MARC
    BULGER (JOSH BROWN KICK), 10:37.
    Drive: 1 plays, 80 yards in 0:11.
    ST LOUIS 7-0

    Nov 2 1:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD STL
    DEREK STANLEY 81 YD PASS FROM MARC BULGER
    (JOSH BROWN KICK)
    ARIZONA 0
    ST LOUIS 7 4:23 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Cardinals 0, Rams 7  1st - 4:23Nov 2 1:37 PM
  • 20
    roots
    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Cardinals vs. RamsNov 2 10:45 AM
  • 10
    roots
    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Cardinals vs. RamsNov 2 9:18 AM
  • 5
    roots
    Lemonman Added 5 roots

    Cardinals vs. RamsNov 1 9:29 PM